Big 3 attention to LGBTs, Michigan is heartwarming

With the North American International Auto Show coming up this week, there's one group the auto companies are courting heavily that's important to note: LGBTs.
Known to be one of the most progressive and trend-setting demographics, auto makers are looking to us to not only tell them what's cool, but to be the first ones to buy it. And with the recent revealing of the General Motors Volt, an electric car set to be released for 2010, whether or not we buy into this matters a lot.
Everyone knows that electric and hybrid cars are great for the environment. But is that enough to get consumers to buy them – simply because they'll help with some greater good? Auto makers are banking on the answer to be a resounding 'no.' As such, they're looking for hip, trendsetting people at the forefront of America's forward-moving culture to help make these cars look not only desirable, but downright sexy.
Over the past couple of days, LGBT and diversity media (including Latinos, blacks and others) were given the star treatment as they came in to Detroit for the auto show and were greeted with a personalized itinerary that included events, luncheons, speeches, dinners and parties that would appeal to them and give them a personalized look at why the Big 3 care so much about diverse people.
LGBT media from around the country were taken on tours of the Detroit Institute of arts and Affirmations community center. They were wined, dined and courted – all for the purpose of drumming up interest in new cars like the Volt, which was premiered Monday at a luncheon specifically for diversity media.
The point behind all this that should make us happy?
Beyond giving domestic partnership benefits to workers, beyond creating specific groups like GM Plus for LGBT employees and beyond being openly supportive of gay organizations, companies and people, auto makers really care about the LGBT community – and about preserving Michigan.
The auto companies are doing everything they can to make sure that they not only stay alive, but that they stay in Michigan. General Motors has even gone so far as to pair up with the University of Michigan to create a program that focuses on the development of batteries that will power cars of the future.
Their decisions in car making that will ensure the future of the state as well as the Big 3 give hope to Michiganders who have been sitting up at night, wondering if they're going to have a job tomorrow. Their committment and genuine regard for the lives, rights and, of course, opinions of LGBT people everywhere are a welcome respite from the harsh treatment and denial of jobs, benefits and protections we so often are faced with. Sure, GM, along with Chrysler and Ford, are looking out for their own companies. But in the process, they are also trying to make things a little easier for Michiganders and for our community.
Michigan LGBTs should be proud, if not ecstatic, to be both.